Society + Science Weekly blogs round-up - 27/28 February 2011 - science, culture, philosophy, religion, atheism - blog by Gurdur


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Society + Science Weekly blogs round-up - 27/28 February 2011 - science, culture, philosophy, religion, atheism
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Posted 28-Feb-2011 at 10:06 PM (22:06) by Gurdur
Updated 28-Feb-2011 at 10:22 PM (22:22) by Gurdur

This is my usual weekly blogs round-up, marked off for Sunday/Monday. I considered how I may not be making clear what the blogs round-up is all about, thinking it would be self-evident, so I am making it more immediately clear: this regular blogs round-up is all about culture, science, mind, history, religion, atheism and philosophy. I am titling it so so as to make that clear. Every week emphasis is random; this particular week, this one is very heavy on the science, with not so much on religion and atheism; but proportions of subjects change every week, according to what that week has brought. I don't usually do politics in these blogs rounds-ups, because as far as I am concerned the politics should only come after everything else has been considered. Subject headings have again been added in darkish green for easy recognition. Onwards to this week's round-up!

Science, evolution, biology: Emily Willingham blogs on a report on genetic transfer between fungi of very different species - and draws out why this has such big implications for reconsidering much of how we picture evolution. Also then see this article here., even if it does confuse bacteria with algae at times.

Science, evolution, biology, medicine: Dr. Carin Bondar did a really interesting blog post on social versus individual immunity.

Science-blogging, art, science, steampunk: A great piece by Andrea Kuszewski on the blog Rogue Neuron on, "The Merging Of Art And Science As A Communication Tool"; in connection with that, see this great Scumble #13 from the blogger The Flying Trilobite on the same subject. Then, finally, this from the Arthrobots site, because I also love steampunk. I plan to blog a couple of big posts on steampunk soon.

Science-blogging, philosophy, sociology, religion, metaphor: In what was quite a brilliant blog post, Ed Yong looked at and explained a paper dealing with five experiments studying how usage of metaphors affects action taken and how people think about situations. I mentioned his post in a blog post of my own dealing with religion and metaphor; I still need to do two more posts on that overall subject.

Science: Not sure if I mentioned this before: Emily Anthes' blogs round-up on various aspects of science etc.

Science, psychology: David Dobbs on the Wired blog Neuron Culture does a good piece on "Is Cognitive Science Full of Crap?" The answer is, no, bugger off, ˇno!

Science, medicine: Emily Willingham gets mentioned again, because she blogged on a new approach to tackling malaria. Since malaria bloody important to me, and the situation with (lack of) research into malaria prevention, all that makes me irate on the subject, so anyone who blogs well on that is bloody good news in my view. Also see this piece.

Society, medicine, writing: And much more on Writers for the Red Cross (by Holly Tucker and others), a fund-raising campaign on behalf of the American Red Cross by authors, booksellers and experts in publishing. Here are the first week's auctions, starting tomorrow, each in their own turn. The very first auction is this one.

Religion, science, anthropology, sociology: Pascal Boyer blogs on why there is no real such thing as "religion". Actually, while right away I had this up for inclusion, as the week wore on I was prompted by doings elsewhere into blogging on this, and including several other talks -- please see my blog post, "So, just what is this "Religion" thang anyway?".

Society, human rights: Becky Garrison blogs about unsung heros of the Middle East.

Society, nature conservation, sociology, metaphor: the blog Wild Muse did a good post on how rural dwellers band together in portraying wolves as a symbol of interfering cityfolks.

Science, neurolaw, neurobollocks, psychology: How to cheat a brain-scan-based lie detector; always said this myself, and I will blog about this in an extended way later.

Science-blogging, society: More or less in just a note to myself, an old blog post worth reading, from Alice Bell, on social levels (or the lack of them) in science-blogging, i.e. on promotion and explanation of science. But also see this very new post from the blog Highly Allochthonous, "The scientist-journalist divide: what can we learn from each other?"

Also see how not to build a science-blogs network, and then "Can Scientists Learn from Science Journalists?" Of course, there is also just how to write a good science blog post too.

The famous BoraZ himself blogged in a great blog post, "Web breaks echo-chambers, or, ‘Echo-chamber’ is just a derogatory term for ‘community’ – my remarks at #AAASmtg".

Don't miss the "Open Laboratory 2011 – submissions so far", either.

Religion, Judaism: The Velveteen Rabbi gets really technical in "Kedushat Levi on work, rest, action, speech, Torah". Oy vey (by the way, that Yiddish comes from the German, "Oh weh").

Religion, human rights: Rev'd Lesley Fellows blogs well on gay marriage/civil partnerships, and Josh Rosenau has a really good blog post up. Then MadPriest of the blog Of Course I Could Be Wrong has a very good post up too.

Science, philosophy, ethics, psychology, religion: the blog The Thoughtful Animal looks at three scientific papers on psychology. Now look at the middle one, subtitled "Vegetables for fun and profit", and if you're into ethics, theology, atheism or religion, ask yourself, how do those scientific findings impact on religion, ethics and education? Because they do.


Non-blog pieces:

Society, politics: The BBC had an interesting report on Gene Sharp - whose writings on non-violent protest apparently were read by many in the Middle East preparatory to the current uprisings.

Religion, human rights: Andrew Brown of the Guardian came out with a good commonsense piece about Christians versus gays in Britain. And the blogger Gavin Drake weighed in on the subject in an excellent blog post. Also see this editorial.

An interesting piece about "ancestor worship", only not quite the way you think.

Ethics, philosophy: And a really interesting piece by Joshua Knobe on how whether you think morality is relative or not depends on your personality.

Twitter, society, politics: A good piece in the Guardian by George Monbiot: "The need to protect the internet from 'astroturfing' grows ever more urgent".

Jeff Jarvis did a pretty damned good piece in the Guardian, "I'd rather be a Twitter triumphalist than a curmudgeonly catastrophist". Also see the definitive piece by Jay Rosen, "The 'Twitter Can’t Topple Dictators' Article". Also, a piece by Peter Beaumont. And maybe this too.

Science, culture: If you feel scientists and naturalists (the ones who go around collecting/studying animals or plants, not the nudist ones) are boring, try this article, and I really need to write a blog pist or article on that myself. Lots to say.


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  1. Old Comment
    Lesley's Avatar
    Thanks mate
    Posted 28-Feb-2011 at 11:52 PM (23:52) by Lesley Lesley is offline
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